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Ready for Christmas? Try A Holiday Organizing Plan!

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 25, 2015

Labor Day weekend ahead! School bells are ringing, football fills the airwaves and September looms. Will the holidays be far behind?

Sure, you're dreaming of the perfect Christmas--then you open your eyes to reality. Looking around the house, it's hard to imagine how to cut the clutter, manage fall cleaning and prepare for Christmas all at once.

How will you bring the current state of domestic chaos into holiday readiness: clean, organized, prepared? You need a holiday organizing plan!

This Sunday, it's time to kick off the House & Holidays Plan at sister site Organized Christmas!

Is a week-by-week Christmas organizing plan right for you and your household? Unlike the shorter Christmas Countdown, the House & Holidays Plan combines a whole-house deep-clean with holiday preparations.

Working week by week, we'll deep-clean and declutter at home, while we prepare for the holiday season in small, sustainable bites.

Along the way, we'll create a personalized Christmas planner to simplify the holidays--and get together in online communities that provide motivation, inspiration and fun.

The fun starts Sunday, August 30. Ready to prepare house and home for the holiday season? Get the plan!

Ready for Christmas with a Holiday Plan

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Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Organized Families

Is there time to clean house? Not for today's busy families!

Between work, children's activities, and vacation plans, even the most leisurely days don't seem long enough to get everything done at home.

There's a solution for busy times! Just as your body needs a "minimum daily allowance" of vitamins and minerals, an organized home needs a minimum of maintenance and attention to keep running smoothly.

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Print An Activity Binder for Stress-Free Family Vacations

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 18, 2015

Here at OrganizedHome.Com, we love 3-ring binders. That's why we adore this travel tip for families with children: use free printables to create a kid's activity binder before traveling.

Use these links to print free coloring pages, word games, puzzles and activity sheets.

Assemble a binder for each child, and add a zipper bag containing crayons, markers, pencils and game tokens to keep the kids amused for hours of peaceful drive time.

Find free printables for kids at these Web sites:

Spoonful Printables

PBSKids.org Games, Stories and Coloring Pages

TheKidzPage.com Coloring Pages

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 14: Get Organized for Homeschool

Back-to-School Countdown Day 14

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 16, 2015

In my years as worker, mother and home manager, I have experienced a full range of life’s little organizational challenges. I have run a business from a home shared with two tiny children and moved cross-country (and back). I've merged two cluttered households into one small city apartment, and lived for many happy years with a card-carrying packrat husband.

The challenge of home schooling a child beat them all hands-down, organizationally speaking.

How do I count the clutter? The books. The papers. The biology experiments on the kitchen window. The adult-sized child sprawled on the floor, reading. The record-keeping. College admissions and testing and letters from the correspondence school.

Homeschool families, like Tolstoy's happy ones, are all alike: drowning in a sea of clutter!

Whatever the organization arena--time, space, money, computer access—-homeschool families have it worse. They have more stuff, less time, more distractions, less money, more chores and less space than just about anybody else.

How do you get organized for homeschool?

Don't despair, homeschoolers! Here at OrganizedHome.Com, we've assembled the best tips, ideas, resources and links to get your new school year off to an organized start.

You don't homeschool? Hang around anyway!

The principles used to organize full-time home schooling families also work for every other family where you find children and learning and love.

Ready? Get organized for homeschool, because home's cool!

Back-to-School Countdown Day 13: Teaching Kids The Planner Habit

Teachers, parents and homeschool families know that training kids to the planner habit makes for successful students.

School districts throughout the USA issue planners to pupils and integrate planner use into the school day. Homeschool families use planners to track and organize lessons, chores and activities, while tech-savvy teens rely on smartphone calendar and to-do apps to organize their work.

A student planner is only a tool. How do you teach a child to use one? Try these tips to teach kids the planner habit.

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 12: Tips to Help With Homework

The start of a new school year means fresh supplies and new outfits ... and their less-welcome cousin, homework. How will you handle daily homework sessions in your organized home?

To stave off homework battles, it pays to make a plan. Creating a homework routine undercuts foot-dragging, while setting up a homework station keeps distractions to a minimum. Having a plan for homework accountability encourages student responsibility--and sees to it that homework gets done on time.

Ready to plan for homework? Try these tips to get it done swiftly, done right during the coming school year.

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 11: Win the Wardrobe Wars

What to wear? For many families, this simple question is a daily flash-point for conflict on school mornings.

A budding fashionista throws a tantrum if a given outfit doesn't meet her standards, while another child insists on wearing one favorite shirt day after day--laundered or not. Younger children resist getting dressed at all, delaying the whole family's departure--and everyone's mood descends to the basement before the day has even begun.

Win the wardrobe wars! Try these ideas to get 'em up, dressed and off to school on time.

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 10: Gear Up for School Lunches

Will you add "pack school lunches" to your to-do list when school starts? Time to get organized!

School-day mornings veer to frazzled in a heartbeat, and never more so than when trying to pack lunches while locating laundry, overseeing homework and calling children to breakfast.

Give yourself a break, and take time now to prepare for the school lunch routine. With nine months of lunch duty ahead, planning school lunch menus will make it easy to pack the sacks each day!

  Read More >>Printables:  seasonal_back_to_school_lunch_planner.pdf

Back-to-School Countdown Day 9: Create A Family Command Center

Each day in your household, the questions fly. What time is soccer practice? Do we need to buy milk? Is the family free to attend a barbecue this weekend?

Even in an age of smartphones, each household needs a one-stop location to find the answers: a family command center.

Information central for busy families, a family command center cuts school-day stress by creating a single location to find calendars, information and messages needed by the family each day.

Today in the Back-to-School Countdown, we'll set up--or spiff up!--a family command center to keep life running smoothly.

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Tame Morning Madness with a Family Launch Pad

Morning Madness! Only the pre-dinner "Arsenic Hour" comes close in the "Calgon, take me away!" category.

Bathroom fights, soggy cereal, and the ever-present, "Mommy! I can't find my . . . !"

Getting the family out the door in the morning can make any parent want to pull the bedclothes up and hide.

One small concept can go a long way to taming the morning beast: the family Launch Pad. Just as a spaceship must have a dedicated structure to support liftoff, so family members need a Launch Pad to stabilize them as they blast out the door.

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 8: Set Up A Family Launch Pad

It's not just our family that exits the door each morning during the school, it's our stuff! Can you find what you need to get the children off to school on time each day?

Briefcases and backpacks, library books and lunch sacks travel with us in and out of the house each day. Arriving home, these possessions scatter to the winds; in the morning, precious time is wasted rounding them up for another day's use.

If you're playing too many games of "Where's the permission slip?", it's time to consider taming the chaos with a family launch pad.

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 7: Crafting School-Day Routines

Kindergarten teachers know a powerful organizing principle: reliable routines are the secret to a successful school day.

Well-crafted classroom routines give pupils a sense of security--and ensure that the day moves smoothly through each planned activity.

Put that organizing secret to work in your organized home!

Today in the Back-to-School Countdown, it's time to craft morning, after-school and evening routines for the school year.

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8 Great Tips To Organize Kids' Rooms

It's the battle cry of millions of parents: "Clean your room!" Will it ring out in your house today?

Seasonal events like birthdays, the holidays or a new school year bring fresh motivation to the drive to get kids organized--and nowhere is the battleground more intense than in the children's bedrooms.

How do you help your child organize and clean up life in the bedroom?

Try these eight easy organization strategies to calm clutter and bring order to kids' rooms.

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 6: Organize Kids' Rooms for Back-to-School

The start of school puts new demands on children's bedrooms. Can the kids find clothing during the morning rush? Where will they do their homework?

To kick off a new school year from an organized home, it's time to declutter, deep-clean and organize children's rooms.

Working with your child, tackle kids' rooms now for school-day success. Remove clutter, organize toys and clothing, and bring a fresh new feeling to your children's private space.

Ready to start? Get inspired to create an organized, supportive space for your little learner:

8 Great Tips to Organize Kids' Rooms

Back-To-School Countdown Day 5: 10 Money-Saving Tips for School Clothes

Gearing up for a new school year? Don't get sticker shock when shopping for school clothes!

The cost of clothing the children for a new school year can be staggering. Even clothing in good repair may no longer fit a growing youngster after the summer holiday. If you've got a budding fashionista on your hands, your child's list of must-have items can swell out of all reality.

How to send them back to school in style ... and on budget? Try these ten ideas for saving money on school clothes.

  Read More >>Printables:  seasonal_back_to_school_clothing_checklist.pdf

Back-to-School Countdown Day 4: Prepare For School Paperwork

Back-to-school on the horizon? Here comes the paperwork!

Today in the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown, we're preparing for the paper flood ahead.

Each school day, children's backpacks grow paperwork like leaves on trees. Permission slips and lunch menus. Sports rosters and progress reports.

Keep them organized by setting up a simple filing system to track and hold school paperwork.

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Back-to-School Countdown Day 3: Organize Information and Contacts

The start of school brings a brisk new tempo to the household, sweeping away the sweet leisure of summer--and the first day of school can bring an unwelcome splash of busy reality.

Will you be ready? Get organized now to sail into school with ease!

On Day 3 of the Back-to-School Countdown, we focus on information, contacts and appointments. It's time to gather paperwork, start a school-year contacts list, and schedule any needed appointments in good time for the first day of school.

  Read More >>Printables:  seasonal_back_to-school_information.pdf

Build a Budget for Back-to-School

Getting ready for back-to-school with the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown? It's Day 2 ... and time to hang on to your wallet!

No doubt about it, outfitting the family for a new school year can be a pricey enterprise. Shoes, clothes and school supplies are only the beginning of the financial outlay. Today's parents must add fees imposed by cash-strapped school districts, shared hygiene supplies and deposits for band instruments. Sports and extracurricular activities impose their own drain on family funds ... and behind it all, the children have a long list of must-have items for the first day of school.

How to hold the line on seasonal spending? Build a back-to-school budget to stay on top of school expenses ... and save.

  Read More >>Printables:  seasonal_back_to_school_budget.pdf

Back-to-School Checklist: Gear Up for a New School Year

Welcome to Day 1 of the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown!

In spite of August's long and lazy summer days, a new school year is on the horizon. To be ready for the first day of school, there are lists to make and appointments to keep, paperwork to be processed and shopping to be done.

Track them all with this ultimate back-to-school checklist! Free for the printing, it'll help you tick off back-to-school tasks and get organized for a new school year.

  Read More >>Printables:  seasonal_back_to_school_checklist.pdf

Do It Now! Tips To Get Ready For Back-To-School

Move over, summer--a new school year is coming!

With the start of school, families face new organization challenges.

School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks.

Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house.

Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind?

Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

  Read More >>Printables:  seasonal_back_to_school_checklist.pdf

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